Johnson County Community College trustees on Thursday named Joseph M. Sopcich the schools fifth president.
By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
Sopcich, who now serves as JCCCs executive vice president of administrative services, was one of three finalists. The others were Richard Shrubb, president of the Worthington campus of the Minnesota West Community and Technical College, and Edward Ted Raspiller, who earlier this week was named president of John Tyler Community College in Richmond, Va.
Sopcich, 58, who takes office this summer, will replace President Terry Calaway, who has led JCCC since June 2007. Calaway resigned to spend more time with his family.
Trustees hired Sopcich to a three-year contract with a total compensation package of $317,900 a year. His base salary will be $240,000.
The announcement was received Thursday night with applause from the board and the audience.
We did a nationwide search. Our desire was to find the best candidate. Joe will be an outstanding president, said Trustee Jon Stewart.
Other trustees also made it clear that they did their due diligence, searching the nation for a candidate.
There was no rubber stamp here, said board chairman Melody Rayl. Dr. Sopcich went through far greater scrutiny than any other applicant, and at the end of the day, he was sitting on top.
Sopcich took note of the respect that the college receives from the community.
To be in the presidents role at this institution is a great honor. Its a privilege, he said. I promise you I will do my best.
In his current post, Sopcich adopted a new approach to the colleges $140 million budget that shaved $6.2 million from expenses; turned around a declining Performance Arts Series through increased sales and by trimming expenses; and launched a capital campaign for a $12 million culinary academy being constructed on the Overland Park campus.
He came to JCCC in 1992 and also has served as the schools executive director of institutional advancement and vice president for institutional advancement and government affairs.
Sopcich earned a doctorate in governance with a minor in political science at the University of Kansas. He has a masters in business administration and a bachelors of arts in American studies from Notre Dame.
To reach Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.